The franchise tag window opens Tuesday. That means the Steelers have the option to place that designation on All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell any time between then and March 6. The franchise tag for Bell is an estimated $14.5 million. The club then has until July 16 to negotiate a long-term contract. According to a quick survey I conducted this weekend, working out such a deal would be an unpopular move. Granted, Twitter polls should be taken with a mountain of salt. But I posted one while hosting an ESPN Pittsburgh radio show Saturday. The results were interesting. The question was: “What do you want to see the Steelers do with the Le'Veon Bell?” Roughly 600 votes later, the tally read: • Franchise tag him: 31 percent • Sign him long term: 35 percent • Let him walk in free agency: 34 percent So, while signing Bell to a long-term deal was slightly favored by the Twitter poll voters, 65 percent of presumed Steelers fans don't want to see their team secure the services of a guy who has totaled 4,345 yards from scrimmage the past two years (including the playoffs) beyond 2018. Tough crowd. The arguments against an extension for Bell have been stated frequently. He gets hurt too much. His skills will erode soon because he's had too many touches. He's been suspended for marijuana use. He was late or absent at times during the Jacksonville playoff week. His quotes and tweets are distractions. He'll be too expensive against the cap.
With franchise tag day looming, Steelers fans are divided about Le'Veon Bell
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Feb 19